Stoddard County baby survives odds with heart issues

Stoddard County baby survives odds with heart issues

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Heartland baby survives the odds after some major heart issues.

It's been a tough road for Eli Potter, but he's now back home.

"Being scared that you might not be able to take your kid home, that's something that nobody wants to experience," said Josh Potter, Eli's father.

It was survival mode for Eli after Josh and Alaina Potter recently found out that their son wasn't supposed to live this long after finding out the devastating issues with their son's heart.

Eli was born in June of 2017. Afterwards, everything was fine for their family. Eli and his brother Ezra were playing and the family couldn't be happier. Then, disaster plagued their family.

"The day we first found out when we got to the hospital, they gave him a very slim chance of surviving," Josh said.

"The scariest moment ever," Alaina added. "Just shocked that there was something wrong with him like that. That he's going to have to be cut open and possibly not making out of it."

Part of Eli's heart did not form and one artery formed in the wrong sport, Eli basically had half a heart.

"They said normally this isn't something they find in five-month-old babies. They find in five-day-old babies," Alaina said. "That's why it was so critical for him. They didn't know if he was going to survive at all."

Eli was airlifted from a hospital in Dexter to Children's Hospital in St. Louis. He had collapsed along the way. Doctors acted fast as Eli was needing life-saving procedures.

"He had to have a heart catheter put in, a heart stent put in, because they found a murmur in his heart, a hole in his heart," Josh said. "It actually kept him alive for as long as it did."

This was the first surgery preparing Eli for the next procedure, open heart surgery.  Josh and Alaina explained that the hole in his heart led to allowing blood to travel through. Once the hole starting closing up, the oxygen decreased.

"They cut him open and rerouted the way the blood flows through his body," Josh explained. "They made it to where the heart, instead of pumping blood to the lungs and the body, they rerouted it to where it skips the heart the first time and goes straight to the lungs to get oxygen and then it goes to the heart."

Alaina and Josh feel they are very thankful for even having Eli right now considering what he had to go through.

"I'm just glad that everything's going alright. God helped push him through it and we are finally home."

They are both very thankful for all the support of their family and friends.

"Everybody has been very helpful," Alaina said. "We want to thank everybody for all the prayers and donations. We really appreciate it.

"They've helped us out a lot to where we could really just focus on Eli," Josh added.

One friend of theirs, Veronica, even went as far as making a Facebook Page called Eli's Story to share his story about what happened and also to help collect funds for any help they might have with medical bills.

"It feels great to finally have him home and knowing that he's actually going to be able to grow up and live an actual life," Josh said.  "We made it through one the really hard steps and now we have a chance for him to recover and relax for a little while and get prepared for the next surgery."

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